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NEWS | March 25, 2010

802nd SFS prepares AETC for active shooting incidents

In light of random workplace shootings over the past two decades, including incidents at military installations, Air Education and Training Command officials have placed an increased emphasis on active shooter training.

AETC worked with the 802nd Security Forces Squadron to implement training throughout the command.

Last year, the squadron provided active shooter train the trainer certification to security forces instructors from every AETC wing.

"Headquarters Air Force Security Forces Center defines an active shooter as one or more subjects participating in a shooting spree, random or systematic, with the intent and means to continuously harm others," said Charles Bradley, 802nd SFS training superintendent.

According to Mr. Bradley, standardization is key to training first responders.

"Our curriculum encompasses the same standards and response techniques as our civilian counterparts. The unit's active shooter instructors are certified through the Alamo Area Council of Governments Law Enforcement Academy and the training curriculum is certified through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education," he said.

In addition to providing a standardized curriculum, the 802nd SFS coordinates joint training opportunities with local state and federal agencies.

In October 2009, first responders attended joint aircraft interdiction training at San Antonio International Airport, teaming up with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and teams representing eight local municipalities.

This past month, the wing's emergency services team and local special weapons and tactics teams learned barricaded subject breaching techniques at the Bexar County SWAT training complex.

According to Lt. Col. Edward Schneider, 802nd SFS commander, nontraditional training opportunities are a key part of a well-rounded training program for security forces Airmen.

"Traditional cordons and emergency service team recall and response procedures are not necessarily applicable to the dynamic scenario of an active shooter. When someone is actually engaging and killing innocent people, security forces must immediately deploy its re-sources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims," he said.

Mr. Bradley said that, even though security forces personnel are being well trained to handle an active shooter incident, immediate action of everybody on the scene is critical to minimizing the violence and stopping the incident.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the following action should be taken.

If an active shooter is in the vicinity:
· have an escape route and plan in mind;
· leave belongings behind; and
· keep hands visible.

Hide out
· hide in an area out of the active shooter's view;
· block the entry to the hiding place and lock the doors; and
· silence cell phones and other electronic devices.

Take action
· as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger;
· attempt to incapacitate the active shooter; and
· act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.

When law enforcement arrives:
· remain calm and follow officers' instructions;
· put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets);
· immediately raise hands and spread fingers;
· keep hands visible at all times;
· avoid quick movements toward officers such as at-tempting to hold on to them for safety;
· avoid pointing, screaming or yelling; and
· do not stop to ask officers for help or directions when evacuating.

Provide the following information to law enforcement or a 911 operator:
· location of the active shooter;
· number of shooters;
· physical description of shooter or shooters, such as pants, shirt, face, etc.;
· number and type of weapons held by shooter or shooters; and
· number of potential victims at the location.

In addition to training security forces personnel, the 802nd SFS training section can help Lackland units develop an effective active shooter training plan. For more information, call Mr. Bradley at 671-2183.
(Article courtesy of 802nd SFS)